Born and raised in Hillsdale for over 42 years, and running a successful law practice for the last 24 years, Brendan Sanger, an attorney from Litchfield, is running for Hillsdale County district court judge.
But unlike many who make the decision to run for a government position in their later years, Sanger felt the calling as a teenager.
“When I was 15, the Lord put it on my heart. It is kind of a weird thing for the Lord to put on my heart,” Sanger said. “But I always knew I was going to run for judge, and now was the appropriate time to run.”
The decision comes during the national unrest, with Sanger’s desire to do the right thing and serve justice.
David Dinkelman, former Hillsdale district court magistrate and Hillsdale attorney for over 45 years, believes Sanger is the right man for the job. Dinkleman endorsed Sanger calling him a “gregarious guy who is made for the public sphere.”
“He has a judicial temperament,” Dinkelman wrote. “I have never seen him inappropriately angry, he is approachable and quick to acknowledge others.”
His personality will carry him far because as district county judge, Sanger believes while it is important to go after the illegal drugs in the community, his focus will be on rehabilitating offenders so that they may contribute to society.
Sanger said his strength will be using his connections to set up those struggling to find work due to their past with jobs. In the end, his desire to serve all comes down to Sanger’s love for people, and the town.
“My favorite part about Hillsdale is the history, the tradition, and the people,” Sanger said. “I know every road in the county.”
In addition to his law practice, which has led him to practice law by both the State of Michigan and Federal US District Court, Sanger has served as the corporate secretary officer to the Persecution Project Foundation, a large multi- million dollar, non-profit corporation, that has brought immediate aid to persecuted persons.
It is Sanger’s service to others and open personality that led James D. Hayne, former Hillsdale district court judge and attorney for over 50 years, to endorse Sanger.
“He is a very straight, honest, and very pragmatic man. He deals with facts of the case and nothing more,” Hayne said. “He has a great sense of humor and the fact of the matter is he is very easy to work with. He is very nice, an unassuming person and a hard worker.”
Dinkleman agreed, emphasizing Sanger’s gregarious personality, and going as far as to describe him as a man “who is made for the public sphere.”
Above all, however, Sanger values family, and his commitment to his wife, daughter, and extended family is what has made him likeable in the election.
“My kids went to Hillsdale Academy with his relatives. His niece and nephew were in my son and daughter’s classes. I saw him at numerous events such as dinners, plays, assemblies and sports. This is a remarkable time sacrifice especially. when it is as an uncle and not for his own kids. He was supporting his relatives and the school — visible acts for the community,” Dinkleman wrote. “His sister recently took a job there following years of a management role at the college. This, plus his family’s community action in Litchfield shows a natural bent to the community.
But regardless of the outcome, Sanger hopes the voters exercise their right to vote in the election.
“What I really want is for the voters to judge each candidate by their merits.”